don’t give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses

I worked legally in Germany during the summer of 1990. They were pretty hostile to foreign workers back then (even me), since the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the unification of Germany had flooded the western portion with cheap labor and lots of welfare recipients. My German was OK. It was a rough summer. All my friends were other foreign workers (from Brazil, Venezuela, Slovakia…and one from the former East Germany who loved to listen to me speak German because it was “so sweet”). I think the immigration policy in this country needs to be revamped. I don’t think we should tolerate illegal immigration, but I think we should allow for guest workers. I don’t think taxpayers should have to educate or medicate all of Mexico too, but I don’t think churches should have to check ID at their soup kitchen doors.

my competitive side

Curses to my husband who suggested, in the most innocent manner, that I do speed work to decrease the time it takes me to run a mile. He had to know that I would blatantly ignore this suggestion if it came from anyone else but him. But for some reason, I take his plain recommendation and consider it a double-dog dare.

So, I did some speed work yesterday, and I wanted to puke. But I’ll do it again. Of course. When he found out that I was doing it while pushing the jogging stroller, he laughed. He went running once with the stroller. It is much harder. So, he laughs at his foolish wife who does everything the hard way.

But he did concede that he’s pretty impressed. And I think he’s expecting me to keep up with him come October when we’ll do the Army Ten Miler.

Fortunately, no strollers are permitted.

apparently, I have nothing better to do

Are you Calvin or Hobbes?

A Bit Of Both

You are 50% Calvin and 50% Hobbes

Calvin & Hobbes, like a scruffy yin and yang, are in perfect balance within you. Like Calvin, you’re weird, a bit insecure, and can be a trouble-maker. But like Hobbes, you’re down to earth and sensitive. It’s a risk to say it here, after just a ten question test, but I’ll bet you’re smarter than most. Both Calvin and Hobbes are crafty, clever characters, and any one made from equal parts of each is a force to be reckoned with.

From GOP Soccer Mom.

Talk about yin and yang…I gave the test to Bill and he answered just about every question exactly opposite of how I answered and ended up with the same results. So, where I am Calvin, he is Hobbes and vice versa. I’m the one with the cockamamie scheme…but he’s ruled by his heart. Too funny.

Easter pictures

There wasn’t one picture with all the kids looking cute, so I’m posting a couple of pictures and hope that each kid looks cute somewhere. Fritz won’t pose nicely for the camera, so no good shots of him at all. Billy loved his little outfit (he picked it out) and was happy to pose. Katie expects to be in every shot…of course, she photographs so well. It’s tough to get a picture of Jenny – she usually won’t cooperate. And Pete is a baby and good photos of babies are all luck and timing.

back to reality

Well, I guess I have to do schoolwork today. Also on tap: sorting and organizing the living room and dining room where all the school supplies are kept.

Last Monday I called to see if I could get the keys and the predicted response was no, try again next week. I didn’t call yesterday, because we were on our field trip, but I’ll call today. Drove through the neighborhood last night and I predict the response will be no, try again next week.

Egg roll

Dear American Taxpayer,

Today is tax day. Thanks for your payment. I really appreciate it.

We just got back from the Egg Roll on the White House lawn. We had a good time. I thank you for all the free goodies and the fun memories.

I’m not sure why you had such an extravagant party or why you do this every year, but thanks for having us over. Maybe next time it won’t rain so much.

Happy Easter!

Easter Monday – the secular side

After a wonderful week free from formal education, you can imagine the resignation in my son’s voice as he asked:

“Mom, do we have school today?”

He was confident that the answer would be yes. His tone was one of defeat. He knew arguing with mom about schoolwork was futile and even dangerous…a battle likely to end in piles of extra assignments for mom thinks the best way to appreciate 2 hours of schoolwork is to do three instead. And then slave-driver mom says:

“Son, today for school you will participate in a tradition that is over a hundred years old. Today you and 10,000 other children will roll eggs on the lawn of the White House.”

Hooray for school! Let’s just hope it stops raining.

CCC discussion

I added this button to my sidebar…if you can see my sidebar. I can’t. It’s all the way at the bottom and I’ve been unable to fix that. Sorry. I’ll keep trying.

Anyway, I’ve added this button to my sidebar:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church was instrumental in my conversion. So, if you are looking for truth, I highly recommend the ongoing discussion there. Otherwise, stay far away. You wouldn’t want to be brainwashed! ;-D

Easter Monday

By the time I got to Mass yesterday morning, I was in a terrific mood. The kids were pumped up on sugar and happy as could be. Getting out the door to Mass was easy – the kids couldn’t wait to put on their Easter clothes and were dressed before breakfast. We were able to leave early enough that we got there before it was completely full.

Seated behind us was a couple with one child who is the same age as Peter. Their son and mine had been baptized at the same ceremony last August. I saw them all the time at this Mass but never sat very close to them. Although the wife appears to be my age (35!) give or take 5 years either way, the husband is salty-haired and has a weathered face. At the baptism, I remembered wondering if he was the grandfather (at a military post, it is not uncommon to see women and children and no dads, not because dad doesn’t like going to Mass, but because dad is in Afghanistan or Iraq or some other equally wonderful place), but since I’ve seen this couple together at many Masses in the last 9 months, I’ve concluded that they are husband and wife.

Wow, this man was full of joy. I could feel it. It was in his voice as he recited the prayers. It emanated from him and truly warmed my soul. It was like sitting in front of a space heater only instead of pouring out heat, he was radiating love.

I’ve met very few people capable of transmitting that feeling just by their presence or by reciting rote prayers. It was pretty cool.

All I could think was: here is an older man married to a younger (but not young, let’s be honest) woman who is given a gift from God – a baby boy. How could he not be joyous? How wonderful to have a beautiful family even if that precious time in your life didn’t come until you thought you’d be too old to enjoy it? Was Abraham half as joy-filled as this man?

After Mass, Bill asked me if I noticed a badge he was wearing. I had, but didn’t know what it was. I guess if you’ve served in the military, you are authorized to wear a badge on your civilian clothes that shows off the highest medal you’ve acheived. His badge indicated he’d been awarded the Silver Star. I’m willing to bet that he has some interesting stories to tell.

Saying Mass was an older black priest – my favorite here on post. All the other priests skip the Confeitor routinely. He never does. I love this prayer. I’ve always loved this prayer. It is wonderfully appropriate for Mass during Lent. I was awe-struck at how appropriate it was for Mass on Easter morning. Maybe it was the love-radiator behind me who helped me to feel the grace that accompanies the humility in confessing our sinful nature.

The rest of Mass was the normal routine of pacifying the baby, corralling the toddler and occasionally correcting the behavior of the older children. Bill was distracted by the “deacon” who was wearing a collar and whose stole did not cross his body…but neither of us were able to pay attention (with our eyes) to the consecration to see if he was a deacon or a priest. Very odd. Katie and Fritz stayed in the pew during Communion and got into an argument about who would sit where. I relocated Fritz to a neutral third location, but Katie continued to softly sob because she wanted to sit in my seat and I wouldn’t let her. Girls.

At the end of Mass, the man behind me apologized if he contributed to the delinquincy of our toddler. Jenny had charmed the pants off of him with her antics and by amusing his son. Seeing an appreciative audience only inspired her to do more. But he was still exuding joy, so I couldn’t be mad at him – or even at Jenny who obviously felt his joi de vivre as well. And then he declared ME a saint. But since I’m not dead, it’s pretty easy to argue against that one. Maybe some day. God willing and if the creek don’t rise.